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Historical View of Medical Care in
The Wappinger Area
Semi-weekly chronicle.JPG

Wappingers Historical Society's display - Town of Wappinger Town Hall

Visit the Wappingers Historical Society's display at Town of Wappinger Town Hall, Town Hall is located at 20 Middlebush Road, Wappingers Falls, New York. Currently, the theme of our display centers on Medicine and Medical Care in the Wappinger area in the late 1800's and early 1900's. Our dispay is located in the xx x x xx xxxx. From time to time , this display will be updated to cover other areas of historical intrerect 

Dr. William Baxter

William Baxter was born in Delhi, Delaware County, NY to Levi and Mary Washburn Baxter February 9, 1805. He was the grandson of a Revolutionary War Patriot, Levi Baxter, from Hartford County, CT. William attended both Hamilton and Union Colleges, and graduated from Union in 1828. He studied under physician Henry Mitchell, of Chenango County, and attended the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Mr. Baxter received the degree of M.D. in April 1831 and was appointed the first resident physician of New York Lying-in-Asylum. In April 1836 he married Mary Tanner of Wappingers Falls, moving permanently to the Village in 1838 where he opened his practice of medicine. Dr. Baxter became a believer and practitioner of Homoeopathy.


Homoeopathy is the belief that the body can cure itself with minute doses of a remedy that, with larger doses in a healthy person, would produce symptoms similar to those of the disease. He was made a member of the Institute of Homeopathy in Boston June, 1847. He was also a member of the Dutchess County and New York State Homoeopathic Medical Societies. William and Mary had four children: Helen Frances (1843-1920), William (1848-1929), Reuben Tanner (1834-1903) and Levi (1846-1902). William (the son) was also an M.D. and a practitioner of homoeopathy medicine. He married Rowena Warhurst at Zion Episcopal Church on November 1, 1873. They had four children: George, William, Rowena and Elizabeth. George married Jane Amelia Travis, Reuben married Catherine Dean and Levi married Iantha Moore. George had a general store located at East Main and Remsen Avenue.


Dr. Baxter (senior) became ill with kidney disease in 1873 and succumbed to the illness July 3, 1875. He and his wife are buried at Wappingers Rural Cemetery. The Homeopathic Medical Kit that is on display at the Town of Wappinger Town Hall belonged to Dr. William Baxter, and was donated to the Historical Society by his family.

Wappingers Area Drug Stores of days gone by. 

In earlier times, you may have known these establishments by a variety of names --- "The Chemist", the pharmacy the apothecary and more. But, their common interest was to provide products to help their customer feel better, heal a wound or be preventive in nature. In early days, there was little or no governmental oversite on testing drugs for safety or even to investigate if the potion did anything at all to affect the ailment it was to cure. When these concoctions failed to work, the purveyors then would simply be referred to as snake oil salesman. It appears that most of our local purveyors of medicines and salves were conscientious people and did their best to provide good remedies for their customer's. Our display is from the Wappingers Historical Societies archive collection and give an idea of what medicines or treatments you might have taken in an earlier time.  

Some of the establishments you may have visited in Wappingers Falls are: 

Roy Drug

This store was located at vvvvv nd it owner proprietor was ccccc  



Wappingers Newspapers

Click here to read a history of Wappingers newspapers. This article is a scan of pages 50-51 from a booklet created by "Committee '71" as a part of the Centennial celebration of the Village of Wappingers Falls in 1971. The name of the booklet is "Wappingers Falls Past & Present 1871 - 1971. The entire booklet is in our Archives and is available for viewing. 

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